By KILASA MTAMBALIKE, 24th December 2011 @ 13:54, Total Comments: 0, Hits: 1214
BEFORE the public’s attention was shifted to the heavy downpours that wrought havoc in Dar es Salaam, all ears were on political events that caused devastation of their own.
The heavy rains that caused floods could not have been prevented, but the political events were of man’s making thus could have easily been avoided. The floods claimed over 30 lives, damaged property and infrastructure and were a source of a great deal of inconveniences.
We prayed for rain during the dry spell and perhaps we got a bit more than we bargained for and tragedy ensued. Businesses were forced to close and thousands were left homeless as the city became inundated with flood water.
Many people were left stranded as roads became inaccessible and bridges collapsed following the devastating rains. Of note, however, was how swiftly the government reacted. The response by the government was commendable and it may not be misplaced to state that had it not been for the quick response by the government, the damage would have been far worse and possibly there would have been more deaths.
It is always very difficult to prepare for an event like the recent floods, and Dar es Salaam has not seen flooding like this for over 50 years. The worst hit areas are known to be prone to flooding even with the slightest rains. It is also my understanding that the areas that were most affected are squatters.
People residing in those areas have time and again been asked to relocate to no avail. Perhaps it’s time that they revisit their position. From the devastation we have seen, remaining adamant would be choosing to die for less. With the unpredictable weather patterns these days, no one knows for sure when such heavy downpours would hit again.
President Jakaya Kikwete has also asked those living in low lands to relocate. We hope they will heed to his call and move. When one starts counting the losses of the flooding to people living in squatters, one is easily convinced that it is not worth the risk. We cannot prevent natural disasters from happening but we certainly avert some of the damages and losses caused by the disasters.
We hope this time the government will stand firm on its position of moving people from lowlands. Just a matter of days before the natural disaster grabbed our attention, a man made one had happened and left devastation in its trail. While trouble is still brewing in the once formidable opposition party, Civic United Front (CUF), another opposition party ended its crisis on a high note.
NCCR-Mageuzi turned the tables on one of its few members of parliament and kicked him out of the party. The two opposition parties are entangled in a power struggle amongst its leaders and NCCR-Mageuzi’s national chairman, James Mbatia, demonstrated to party cadres that he was very much in charge, the rest can go figure.
To assert his authority, some had to bite the dust, so one legislator and a few other party members were axed from the party. The decision has implications beyond party politics; it will also dig deep into government coffers as well in the not so far future.
The Registrar of Political Parties, Mr John Tendwa, has been quoted as saying that the decision by NCCR-Mageuzi to expel its Member of Parliament, Mr David Kafulila, might cost the nation not less than 19bn/- needed to conduct a by-election to replace him.
Under prevailing laws, a lawmaker loses his seat if he is expelled from his party because belonging to one is among crucial conditions of being elected a member of parliament. This only gives benefit to those calling for independent candidates.
Of more interest, however, is what transpired during the party’s closed door session which culminated in the axing of Kafulila and how so badly he took it. It is said that the firebrand young legislator proved he was just a big baby after all because he wept profusely and uncontrollably while putting himself at the mercy of party members.
Most of us were of the impression that the little macho guy was a tough nut to crack owing to his reputation of making even the most seasoned politician look like a novice. And there he was on bended knees pleading for forgiveness all drowned in tears.
And you might have thought that it would help. The NCCR-Mageuzi guys are ‘makauzu’, they are a cold lot who are heartless, stood firm and refused to pardon him. Now Kafulila can only pray that he gets an Oscar for best performance for his touching show because, as the NCCR-Mageuzi guys had put it, he was just acting. What a pitiful moment it was!
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